April 17, 1923 - Feb.
Published in the Los
Angeles Times on February 26, 2012
There is no joy in
Mudville this week. Bill Lillie, starting 3rd baseman on the 1948 USC
National Championship Team died Wednesday-2/22/2012 at Glendale Adventist
Hospital. It was Lillie who made the 3rd out of a triple play in the bottom
of the 9th inning to win the College World Series against Yale. George
H. W. Bush, 41st President of the USA, played first base for Yale and
watched the triple play from the on-deck circle.
Bill was born William Wallace Lillie on 4/17/1923, the 6th of seven children.
His father, George, was an immigrant from Scotland. His mother, Eva Darges,
emigrated from Lithuania. The seven children were raised in a 700 square
foot house in Culver City that his parents bought for $700 in 1920.
Bill attended Palms Elementary and Middle School. He graduated from Hamilton
High School in the Class of 1940. After high school, Bill attended Loyola
College (now LMU) for two years and then joined the US Navy during World
War II. After the war, Bill graduated from USC, where he studied accounting,
and played under Coach Rod Dedeaux.
After college Bill had a brief career in baseball with the Hollywood Stars.
Bill worked for the City of Los Angeles from 1951 to 1961. He then moved
on to the world of stocks and bonds with Bateman, Eichler, Hill, Richards
as Corporate Controller. Bill was with the firm until he retired in 1988.
Bill married Betsy Rozelle of Iowa in 1963. They made their home and lived
a comfortable life in Sherman Oaks, CA. Sadly Betsy contracted pancreatic
cancer and Bill cared for her through her death in 1989. Bill later moved
to Redondo Beach and met Frances "Penny" Henry. Bill and Penny
were enthusiastic golfers and enjoyed a close, loving relationship. Sadly,
Penny contracted pancreatic cancer. Bill cared for her through her death
Bill is survived by his sister, Bess Washington of Upland, CA and 19 of
his 21 nieces and nephews. As a former Naval Officer, Bill chose to have
his ashes scattered at sea.
Bill was awarded the game ball for his part in the famous triple play.
He donated the ball to USC a few years back where it is on display.
Please make any donations to USC Baseball.